I’m terrible at math..is an MBA in reach?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Maniac Craniac, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    You are not doing yourself any favors by continuously telling yourself that you are bad in math. Also, if you constantly avoid opportunities to improve your math, as you have, you are expending a whole lot of energy into creating a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    I'm sorry if that comes of as blunt and possibly judgmental, but that is the stone cold truth and the only way you will ever accomplish your goals is to realize that what I'm telling you is true. The only possible situation where it isn't true is one in which you have a genuine learning disorder and might need professional guidance to learn strategies to overcome it. It's hard for me to believe that someone who successfully completed a degree in accounting could possibly have a learning disorder related to numbers- so snap out of it!

    I hope to hear soon enough that you have made your decision, either way, and are plowing into it full force with no inhibitions. Welcome to DegreeInfo, where the players play, and we churn out the credits, like, every day. Contact myself or one of the other moderators if you need any help surviving this jungle of information.
  2. Skooby

    Skooby New Member

    I figure I was just being realistic. I would think in order to improve my algebraic math skills to a calculus level, it would take a year or two. I just don't have that kind of time given my age.

    Note: I currently work for the Department of Defense and I plan to stay within the federal government until I retire.

    So i'm not trying to get into the corporate world, etc.

    Just thought I'd add that incase that would alter any responses.
  3. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    What is your motivation for earning the degree? Would it mean enhanced salary or better promotion opportunity, or is this simply for personal satisfaction?
  4. Skooby

    Skooby New Member

    Better promotion opportunity and personal. With the federal government...some agencies grade resumes and a masters degree or MBA gives you extra points. These days in order to get to a higher grade level having a masters will only help.

    As far as personal no one in my family has ever had a graduate degree. Although I do have one first cousin that has an MBA from the University of Phoenix but I don't count for-profit schools.
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    If it's a straight point system, then any legitimately accredited school is as good as the next one. I believe the federal government accepts NA schools as well as RA schools, so you might want to look into that option (after you confirm that, of course).

    You should be concerned with the school's accreditation and cost, not the ownership status. Can anyone with a straight face say that no one is profiting over at Harvard?
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If you've decided you wouldn't be interested in attending a for-profit school then fair enough, but saying your cousin doesn't have a graduate degree because his MBA is from the University of Phoenix is completely ridiculous. And no, I have no connection with that school. :rolleyes:
  7. DistanceGrad

    DistanceGrad New Member

    First, if you would like to improve your algebra and trigonometry skills, visit a local community college and have a frank discussion with a counselor. You may not be bad at math, you may have had lousy teachers.

    Now, if you have your heart set on an MBA, then statistics will likely be more important. Here again the community college can help. But do the math stuff face to face not at a distance. If you do not understand something, you need to be able to talk to someone realtime.

    Next, if any Masters degree will do, then drop the MBA. What was your undergraduate degree in? Can you relate that degree to your federal employment. An MBA is a terminal degree (or was meant to be). That means it is the highest business degree and it was intended to provide the right education for an individual planning for a C level position in a corporation. It is funny, I talked to a young person who said to me, "the degree is a general management degree"... No it was meant to be a degree to become a General Manager (that is a term used to describe the President or Chairman of a company.

    So if your undergraduate degree was in Psychology, then take a Masters in Psychology. You may enjoy it more.

    By the way, with the large number of schools now in the DL arena, go to a good school based on its reputation for turning out great leaders. That is what organizations look for. I would hire a person with an MBA from NYU over an MBA from Phoenix anytime. If you just want a degree to get a few more points toward salary or a civil servant rank, then do something that is fast, easy and inexpensive.

    Good luck.
  8. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    If you have a bachelors in Accounting, I think you should have no problem with the math involved in an MBA.

    Whether or not if Franklin University is "worth it" for you, if you are just looking for an MBA to add to a resume for advancement in the federal government, I would think that should be fine. However, there are other schools out there to choose from that don't require GMAT.

    Don't let the GMAT scare you. If it is anything like the quantitative section of the GRE, it is mostly definitions, and nothing much beyond high school math.
  9. Skooby

    Skooby New Member

    I've thought about doing the CC statsistics route. It's still an option. My undergrad is in Accounting. Right now, i'm an 'accounting technician' for the department of defense. At the agency i'm in there is a point system.

    On a 100 point scale, education accounts for 20 points. Associates will get you up to 5points. With a bachelors you can get to the 10-15 point scale. A masters is the 15-20 point scale. They say the variation will be due to your GPA and how closely related to the job the degree is.

    However, the selection critriea for the selection officials does say: "If you award more or less points for a particular school attended, you must define points for every possibility and be prepared to defend your logic."
  10. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    This all begs the question. . . just how important is math to being an effective MBA graduate? I would guess that many graduates never or hardly ever use that math unless they end up employed at a financial institution. My perception of programs I've looked at lately is that schools are acknowledging the same, and math is becoming less emphasized-- not to mention there seems to be an increasing emphasis on "soft skills".

  11. Skooby

    Skooby New Member

    Maybe I shouldn't be so apprehensive about the GMAT. I hope you're right about the math invovlved in the MBA programs itself. I', paranoid about Calculus. In some of these business programs undergrad you needed a calculus...I just figured some of the MBA would have it too.
  12. Skooby

    Skooby New Member

    I hope this is the case.
  13. Y-RAG

    Y-RAG New Member

    I must agree w/Steve on this, I'll take that degree.Hey, Skooby, How about postin a picture of Penelope...
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Have you considered the AMU MPA (several concentrations to choose from) and not much math:
    AMU Degree Program: Master of Public Administration-Capstone Option
    I have worked with various people in the US Govt that had MPAs.
  15. DistanceGrad

    DistanceGrad New Member

    The Roman senator Seneca said... "We do not learn for school, we learn for life." If anyones intent is to just get through a degree for the sake of the degree, then you are going to be faced with a problem in the future. I am a retired C level employee and worked for three Fortune 10 companies in my career. During that entire period I taught as a lecturer, and as I moved up through my corporate career, I taught as an adjunct associate professor. After my B&M undergraduate degree and first B&M masters degree, I used teaching to keep me current in my field. I have used distance learning and a second regionally accredited DL masters to bolster an avocation. DL worked for me with the avocation as it helped me with magazine articles I write related to my hobby.

    Here is my point, once you move up through an organization, math and hard skills are important. The backbone of every organization is information and most information is reduced to numbers and statistics. If an individual in a corporate setting at any level, but especially the executive is not conversant in almost every business discipline, then they will have never made it to that level.

    Please learn the math...
  16. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    If an MBA requires calc it is general calc 1. You can satisfy that requirement by taking the CLEP calculus test, taking a class at a community college etc.
    Statistics is the more common quantitative element in an MBA and most MBAs have foundation courses that you MUST take if you do not have an undergrad stats class.
    Check out your MBA's entrance requirements carefully. If you have an undergrad in business you may not be required to take the foundation statistics course but you may want to do so anyway as a refresher. These foundation classes are not graduate level courses, they are remedial courses for students from other disciplines so it won't be too challenging.
  17. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Interesting comment. I didn't notice any statistics, facts, numbers, data or even anecdotes to support your position. I feel impelled to make a very strong comment in reply, and say your argument seems to boil down to "do the math because I had to." Those "you should do it because I had to" arguments are more of a hindrance than a help in Distance Learning circles. In fact, those sorts of attitudes are part of the reason many students who work so hard for their DL degrees sometimes encounter prejudice-- aka "you should give up extra time, money, and gas to go to a brick and mortar program. . . because I had to."

    Of the senior management and higher level managers I have encountered in a handful of firms, I can imagine VERY few ever had to use the statistics they learned. I think it may be safe to assert most would only use math beyond first or second year algebra in businesses supporting certain fields-- e.g. high finance, scientific endeavors, certain manufacturing or utility posts. I'm not saying the math isn't good to learn as part of a foundational liberal arts education, but I am questioning its value in real daily use beyond that. I also understand the "separate the men from the boys" argument as well, but I think there may be other ways to do that.

    One of these days I should research the origins and theory behind the first MBA programs to see if the underlying premises still hold true today, to see what the thought process was in pushing quantitative analysis on students. It may be that since there were no PCs, few decent pocket calculators and no Internet, people HAD to know quantitative analysis to survive. Now with all these resources, it may be that heavy statistics math no longer has the same bearing on performance of potential MBAs.

    And to be fair. . . I'm sure most master's in management and leadership were developed for people who "can't cut it in a real MBA program". . . aka "they can't handle the math we had to do".
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2011
  18. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    Northcentral's MBA requires no GRE or GMAT. It has two courses that emphasize math. One is the SKS5000 course, which covers all of the undergrad business school bases including a little bit of statistics. The other is the business stats course which everyone has to take. This course is challenging. I am taking it right now. But you end up beating yourself up and studying a lot and spending a lot of time on assignments, only to find out that you get an A on those assignments. This has been my experience.
    The fact that you are concerned about it means that you care about your performance and take your studies seriously. Do what it takes to finish the courses and you will be fine. At NCU, you only need a C in the course to graduate and you can take it again. I hired a tutor to help out but only needed him one time so far.
  19. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    After doing a little reading on MBAs and the history, it would seem statistical analysis might be of value to learn, but many folks who learn it would be lucky to use anything more than regression techniques. I think some more scholarly evaluation of the need for advanced math-- real or perceived-- is in order. It's starting to seem like math is one of those things we've just accepted as a necessity for an MBA, especially in a day and age where there are some advanced degree holders who seem to have trouble just writing a coherent sentence in a public forum.

    The question is starting to fade for me a bit, admittedly, as I'm becoming drawn to Leadership programs (and not just for the lack of emphasis on math!).
  20. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Profit or non-profit, your cousin still has an MBA and you do not. While UoP and many others are for-profit, they are accreditied.

    Perhaps you should look at a grad degree that is not an MBA if math concerns you. What about a masters in management or an MSA?

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